This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2007 Travels July 9


I had another good night’s sleep, although it seemed colder. Being less exhausted, maybe I just noticed the cold in the night. I was up at 6.30am. Pottered about, getting stuff organized.

Breakfasted, then drove back to the Piccaninny car park, stopping along the road a couple of times to take photos – a luxury I am not often afforded when someone else is driving!

Holly Grevillea along the way

I set out again on the same track, but soon deviated to tackle the short Domes side walk.

I knew that the other two would take some time to walk back from their camp, so thought I had time to sidetrack – just in case it was later decided we wouldn’t come back this way.

Also – I didn’t want to walk too far to meet them, only having to back track along the same route I’d trudged a couple of days ago!

The Domes circuit provided a really good encapsulation of typical Bungles domes – a way for most visitors to see in a small area what we had expended a lot of effort to visit further along!

From there, it wasn’t far to the next side track – to Cathedral Gorge.

Because of the recent rains, there were lots of pools on and beside the track, as I walked in there. Had to wade at a few points and got wet feet. There were a couple of short ladders to climb too, that took the track around difficult bits.

The track to Cathedral Gorge
Getting closer on the narrow track

I was really lucky to get into Cathedral Gorge in between tour groups. There was only one other couple in there while I was taking photos.

Way in to Gorge

The Cathedral is a huge amphitheatre type of cavern formation at the head of a gorge.  In its base is a large pool.

Pool in Cathedral Gorge, and the black rock of a waterfall course

The curved rock roof causes sound to be amplified and echo. The roof is partly open to the sky. In one section, a black stained rock wall that denoted a wet season waterfall, reached up really high. There must be an awesome torrent pouring down there when it really rains.

The Cathedral
Reflection in the Cathredral Pool
The Cathedral Pool and the way out again

On the side track back from Cathedral Gorge, I passed heaps of tour group travellers walking into the Gorge. How lucky had I been?

At the corner with the Creek track, had a little debate with myself. Was it just possible that the intrepid two had made really excellent time and gone past this point towards the car park? Logic said not – but I thought I’d best play safe and check.

So I tromped the km back to the car park. No hikers. Tromped the same km back again, then continued on up the Piccaninny Creek bed.

I only got about a km along from the Cathedral Gorge turn off, when I turned a bend and there they were, heading my way. It was right on midday. They had made good time – five hours since they’d left their camp, some 12-14kms away.

John heading back along Piccaninny Gorge
Debris showing the extent of floods along here

They’d had a great time, and were “high” on the achievement.

They hadn’t explored the full lengths of all the little finger gorges at the top of the main one – too much boulder hopping, verging on rock climbing. But I thought it was a great effort to do what they had done, especially 66 year old John with his one replaced hip and another well on the way to needing same.

One of the hardest walking sections

Loaded them and gear into Truck. On the way back, detoured into the airfield area near Walardi camp, so M could check out the sightseeing helicopter flights. On our Piccaninny Creek walks, had heard and seen these overhead.

Then drove back to the Visitor Centre to de-register them. More cold drinks were purchased!

Back at camp, they unpacked. In the wash-up dish, I hand washed John’s dirty gear, and my socks, which were wet and dirty from having to wade on the way into Cathedral Gorge.

Then we all relaxed over late lunch and into the afternoon. They had lots of anecdotes to tell me – and remember, themselves.

The wildflowers in the Park were truly spectacular, we had noted. I’d seen a superb red variety of holly grevillea, and a  golden rod type wattle was also notable.

Holly Grevillea

 It was good to have company again, in camp, even if it did mean I had to share the bed clothes!

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2003 Travels July 30


On reception again. The comparative rest was helpful – better than bed making, right now.

Mail plane day – received some drawings sent by son, done by 18 month old grand daughter. They would decorate inside the van, for a while.

I took a phone call from a very irate neighbour, the owner of Herbert Vale Station, south west of here. Over the past few weeks, the boss had told a few parties of travellers, who had asked, that the “back way” to Camooweal was ok to travel. It was a route marked on some maps. The bosses had been that way, last year. I had never been that way, so did not give any directions on that one, and it was not on my mud map. But the boss had said, when asked, to just follow the shire fence line and not go through any gates. Sounded easy!

But Mr Herbert Vale was truly cross, because he had been finding parties of lost travellers all over the property and camped at his bores, awaiting rescue. The boss wouldn’t take the call, so I talked to him and said I would pass on his message, which somewhat condensed and censored was  – that it was not a gazetted road, he did not like lost tourists, the track was not good, it was not a faster short cut to Camooweal, and there were lots of gates! I did my conciliatory best and promised to try to deter all future travellers from venturing onto his property.

Under the circumstances, I did not feel it was politic to tell him that WE were about to transit part of Herbert Vale ourselves, soon!

Resize of 08-03-2003 01 grevillea by Muswellbrook track

Resize of 08-03-2003 02 grevillea

Two photos of a local grevillea species

Later, the Head Ranger from the Park, promised to phone the man and square our travel with him.